Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) showed a first sign of weakness at the 2018 Giro d'Italia on Thursday, losing time to Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) and Chris Froome (Team Sky) on the fast finish to Prato Nevoso.
He tried hard to paper over cracks in his defence of the maglia rosa, insisting it was just a bad day and that the multiple mountain stages to Bardonecchia and Cervinia suit him much more. However, Dumoulin is just 28 seconds down on the Briton and he got a real taste of blood after two-and-a-half weeks of suffering.
"Today is very different to the next few days," Yates said. "Today was one big effort in the final. Tomorrow there are many passes and longer climbs that suit me much more. This does not hurt my confidence. I'm much more confident about tomorrow and the next day than I was about today."